Constitutional amendment on land reform slammed as 'political gimmick'
Parliament - South Africa's official opposition Democratic Alliance on Thursday described the work of the Constitutional Review Committee who voted in favour of amending section 25 of the Constitution to explicitly provide for land expropriation without compensation as a farce.
The party, together with the Freedom Front Plus, Congress of the People (Cope) and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), convened a media briefing along with other opposition parties, calling the process a "foregone conclusion".
DA MP Thandeka Mbabama said while land issue was a "delicate and sensitive" and "a social justice imperative that South Africans must rally around", it was being used a "political gimmick" by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) ahead of next year's general elections.
"The ANC and EFF has essentially pushed this report through this committee despite errors in procedure," said Mbabama.
She claimed the process was flawed.
"Hundreds of thousands of written submissions were arbitrarily disregarded and access to all submissions was not granted."
"Additionally, the public hearings were characterised by high levels of intimidation and bullying with incidents of racist attacks on speakers casting further doubt on the integrity of the process."
However, the co-chairs of the committee rejected any notions that the process that led to Thursday's vote was flawed or compromised.
The EFF welcomed the adoption of the report and framed it as a vindication of its policies.
"Long has this country waited for a decisive generation, who will consolidate the decolonisation process with regards to the land. With the arrival of the EFF, this was attained in less than five years," the party said in a statement.
The committee's report will now be tabled in the National Assembly for debate.
African News Agency (ANA)